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Flying Solo

Fri, 06/09/2017
Travelling Alone

Travelling alone for the first time can be a very difficult, yet extremely rewarding experience. There are a few things you can do to make your journey easier, feel braver and be prepared for what’s ahead.

Keep all your travel documents available at all times until your final destination, if it makes things easier, invest in a travel wallet big enough to hold your passport, boarding passes, tickets and other travel documents you need.

If you’re waiting more than a couple of hours in an airport you might be tempted to go to sleep somewhere or you may lose track of time getting lost in the duty free shops or in the lounge, to avoid missing your flight, set an alarm for the time your gate opens or for about 45 minutes before your flight departure.

Getting an extra 40 winks at the airport is a great way to pass time if you’re travelling alone, but make sure you know where your bags are at all times! Use your hand luggage as a pillow and put your arm or legs over your checked baggage (if you haven’t yet checked it) so that nobody can try to tamper with your luggage whilst you’re asleep.

For solo travellers who want to get through the airport quickly to catch a connection, a bus or a train, you can choose a seat either at the very front or at the very back (which is cheaper than sitting at the front) so that you will be one of the first off the plane and the first in the queue at passport check.

Don’t be afraid to ask people for directions, tips or help along the way. Most people will be willing to help and you might even make a new friend or travel buddy, if not just somebody to chat to during the flight.

Pack as lightly as possible; with nobody to help carry your bags, you don’t want to be left lumped with way too much stuff that it takes you hours just to cross the airport and get to the taxi stand. Plus, with nobody to look after your stuff whilst you go to the toilet or order food, it’s always good to be able to carry your things and have at least one hand free for other jobs, like checking maps, taking a phone call or carrying your passport.

When choosing your accommodation, go for a hostel or hotel with 24 hour reception. Especially if you’re not arriving during the day, or if you stay out late whilst you’re away, you’ll be thankful to have somewhere secure to return to and not have to stand waiting to be let in when you’re in an unknown place.

Give your family your contact information, accommodation details, flight schedule and itinerary during your stay. It will give them (and you) peace of mind.

Take a book. Travelling alone can be easier than travelling with people because you have the freedom to plan whatever you want to do, it can be liberating and much more meaningful than travelling with others- but it can also be very hard. And when you’re feeling lonely, one of the best ways to switch off and escape your loneliness is with a good book – bonus points for travellers who read books set in the destination their visiting!

Trust your gut and have fun.

Get Paid When Delayed is a free online community for passengers’ rights in the EU. We help those who have had their flight cancelled, delayed or who have been denied boarding to claim compensation by calculating what they are owed with this simple questionnaire. Get Paid When Delayed generates your claims letter for you, so that all you have to do is email it, or print it out and send it to the airline.

With Get Paid When Delayed you can find airline contacts details to quickly and easily get in touch with your air carrier regarding your claim, use the flight distance calculator to work out how far your flight was and see what you are owed by the airline.

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